To: Insurance Carriers Providing Benefits Under the Workers' Compensation Law; Attorneys and Licensed Representatives Appearing Before the Board; All Employees
Date: June 21, 2002
All carriers must comply with the requirements of Workers' Compensation Law §54(5) when canceling a workers' compensation insurance policy. The law requires ten days notice to the employer and the Workers' Compensation Board when cancellation is due to non-payment of premium and thirty days notice to both when cancellation is for any other reason. If carriers do not strictly adhere to these requirements, a workers' compensation law judge may deem the policy active for any resulting lapse in coverage by the employer.
It has been the practice of the Workers' Compensation Board to reject and return cancellations to the carrier when timely filing notice has not been given to either the employer or the Board. The carrier was then required to resubmit the cancellation with new cancellation dates to meet the requirements of the law and to record the cancellation in the Board's Insurance Compliance computer system.
The Board has implemented a new Insurance Compliance system that uses the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions (IAIABC) Proof of Coverage (POC) data set for submission of policy information. The IAIABC standards are based on the WCPOLS standards now used by carriers to report to state rating boards. In order to accommodate the universal IAIABC standard for reporting coverage information, the new Insurance Compliance system will record the cancellation dates submitted by carriers, regardless of the time between the notice and date of cancellation. However, insurance carriers are still required to comply with the timely filing notice requirements in Workers' Compensation Law §54(5). Even though the Board records the submitted cancellation date in its Insurance Compliance system, this does not preclude a finding by the Board or a judge in a workers' compensation claim that the policy was improperly canceled because the timely filing requirements of Workers' Compensation Law Section §54(5) were not met.
Accordingly, the Workers' Compensation Board will no longer reject untimely cancellation transactions, and will begin processing all cancellation dates as submitted by insurance carriers. Therefore, the Board will no longer reject and return cancellations that do not meet the proper timely filing criteria. Assuming all other required information is properly submitted, carriers will receive a confirmation indicating that the transaction was processed.
This does not represent an acknowledgment of a timely POC filing. The obligation to meet and prove the timely filing requirements remains with the carrier as per statutory requirements.
Questions regarding this subject number may be addressed to the Bureau of Compliance, 20 Park Street, Room 202, Albany, New York, 12207, (518) 474-6967 [Effective June 29, 2012 all questions should be directed to Bureau of Compliance, 328 State Street, Schenectady NY 12305-2318].
Richard A. Bell